FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Only 6 percent of Connecticut residents identify as Mets fans, according to a preseason Quinnipiac University Poll. But what a happy 6 percent they are as the team heads into its opening World Series game Tuesday night.
"I really don't think it's such a rare thing being a Mets fan in our part of Connecticut," said Danbury resident Elizabeth Healy. "I am sitting within spitting distance of two others, and my choir director at church is a Mets fan, too."
Healy, who works in Newtown, says she has backed the Mets since 1985.
"When you have rooted for a team through years of losing, years when they choked, years when you knew they weren't going anywhere so you celebrated the little victories, and you still got to know and love the players and your fellow fans, when something like this year happens, it is sweet, sweet, sweet!" she said.
This is the first World Series trip for the Mets since 2000, when they lost to cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees.
"You really have to love your team to stick with them in all the lean years, especially when you live in the shadow of the rotten old Yankees," she said. "I can't tell you how many times this scenario happens: People find out you love baseball. Invariably, you get the question: 'Yankees, or Red Sox?" And you answer 'Mets.'
"And then you get the 'look.' ... If they are Yankee fans, they look at you either with scorn or pity. ... If they are Red Sox fans, they either look empathetic because they understand about rooting for your team through all the lean years, or slightly sick because they remember 1986 and are just hoping you don't bring up Bill Buckner."
Healy, a Danbury High graduate, is also quick to point out that the Mets share the same colors as the Hatters — bright blue and orange!
New York Mets fans looking for like-minded baseball folk can head to a Saugatuck Sweets in Westport for some World Series treats.
Thanks to Aitoro Appliances, fans can watch Tuesday's game on an outdoor giant screen set up at the candy shop. Free popcorn and peanuts will be offered for those in the bleacher seats.
Also, Mets fans sporting shorts, caps, buttons or any blue-and-orange gear on game days can get a free soft-serve ice cream cone, complete with Mets World Series Sprinkles at the shop.
Saugatuck Sweets is located at 575 Riverside Ave., Westport.
The Mets take on the Kansas City Royals on the road in the opening game Tuesday night at 8 p.m.
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